Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis started her career as a member of the repertory company at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing, West Sussex in 1976. Directed by Nic Young, she appeared in Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw and as Ophelia in Hamlet.

Before her role in Star Trek, Sirtis was featured in provocative, sexually-themed supporting roles in several movies. In the Faye Dunaway film The Wicked Lady, she engaged in a topless whip fight with Dunaway. In the Charles Bronson sequel Death Wish 3, Sirtis's character is a rape victim. In the film Blind Date, she appears in a topless scene as a prostitute who is murdered by a madman.

She has an established record of British television work, appearing in Minder as Stella in Series 1 episode Aces High and Sometimes Very Low, Raffles, and The Return of Sherlock Holmes among other things. She played the stewardess in the famous Cinzano Bianco television commercial starring Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins, in which Collins was splattered with drink.

Gene Roddenberry was inspired to ask the exotic-looking Sirtis to audition for a role after seeing the film Aliens with Bob Justman, which featured the prominent Latina character Vasquez, played by Jenette Goldstein. Sirtis and Denise Crosby initially tried out for the other's eventual role on The Next Generation. Sirtis's character was going to be named Lt. Macha Hernandez, the Security Chief. Gene Roddenberry decided to switch them, and Macha Hernandez became Natasha Yar. Sirtis recalls that on the day she received a call offering her the role of Deanna Troi, she was actually packing to return to England, because her six-month visa had ended.

Deanna Troi was a half-human, half-Betazoid. Her Betazoid abilities allowed her to read the emotions of others. Her position on the Enterprise-D was ship's counsellor, looking after the crew's well-being and a trusted advisor to Captain Picard with a position seated next to him on the Bridge.

Initially the writers found it difficult to write for Troi and even left her out of four of the first season episodes. Sirtis felt her job was in jeopardy after the first season but was overjoyed when Gene Roddenberry took her aside at Jonathan Frakes' wedding and told her the season two premiere episode, "The Child," would center around Deanna Troi.

Sirtis appeared in all seven seasons of Star Trek.

Sirtis has also reprised her character of Deanna Troi in the feature films, Star Trek: Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1999) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). She also appeared in Star Trek: Voyager for three episodes towards the end of the series (1999 and 2000) and also in the series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise (2005).

After the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1994, Sirtis continued to work regularly. She provided the voice of Demona in the Disney animated television series Gargoyles, (1994-1996 and two one off specials). Many of her Next Generation co-stars also lent their voices on the acclaimed show, from Frakes as Xanatos, to Dorn as Coldstone, and Spiner as Shakespearian Puck. She voiced the character again for an episode of the unmade Animated Series Team Atlantis.

Sirtis popularly appeared in episodes of other science fiction television shows; The Outer Limits, Stargate SG-1, and Earth: Final Conflict. Her other guest starring roles include Diagnosis: Murder, Threat Matrix (playing a Bio-weapons scientist from Iraq), The Closer, a three episode recurring role on Girlfriends and Without a Trace.

She has also starred in many independent, made for TV movies and theatrical movies including Gadgetman, Paradise Lost, Terminal Error, Net Games, Spectres, Grendel, Inalienable, Oranges, Fist of the Warrior, The Grudge 3, and Green Street 2.

In the UK she made a highly publicized guest appearance on the BBC hospital drama series Casualty in 2001. In 2008, she made a guest appearance in an episode of Casualty's sister show, Holby City.

Sirtis has expanded her career branching out into production, being associate producer for Spectres and The Deep Below.

In 2004, Sirtis had a minor role in the Academy Award-winning ensemble movie Crash as the wife of the Persian shopkeeper.

She also has done voice work for computer games, as the character Matriarch Benezia for the critically acclaimed RPG Mass Effect, as well as Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation,  A Final Unity, and Star Trek Generations PC Games.

Sirtis has read a few audio books including Powers That Be, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Anne Scarborough.

In 2009, Sirtis appeared as a guest on the show Family Guy playing herself along with the rest of the cast of Star Trek: TNG. She has provided her voice for an episode of The Cleveland Show airing at some point in the 09-10 season. She has filmed her part in a sci-fi channel movie entitled Doomsday that will air in the fall. Independent film 31 North 62 East was released in some cinemas in the UK in September in which she has a starring role as the Prime Minister's aide who is kidnapped. She is signed up for two more films (Shadows in the Sky and P415) with the same production company, Fact Not Fiction Films, based in West Sussex, UK. At Trek Expo 2009 at the end of June, Sirtis announced that she was filming a Vampire movie in Louisiana. Sirtis guest starred in new medical drama Three Rivers on October 4th 2009.